UCL English


Professor Mark Ford



Email: m.ford@ucl.ac.uk
External phone: 020 7679 3129

Internal phone: 33129

Office: Foster Court 236


Mark Ford

Education and Experience 

Mark Ford was born in 1962 in Nairobi, Kenya. He went to school in London. He has a BA and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. In the academic year 1983-84 he was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University, and from 1991 to 1993 a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Kyoto in Japan. He has published three collections of poetry, Landlocked (1991), Soft Sift (2001), and Six Children (2011). He has also published a biography of the French writer Raymond Roussel, and a parallel text edition of Roussel’s final poem, Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique (New Impressions of Africa). He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books, and a selection of his reviews and essays have been published in three volumes, A Driftwood Altar (2005), Mr and Mrs Stevens and Other Essays (2011) and This Dialogue of One: Essays on Poets from John Donne to Joan Murray (2015), which won the Poetry Foundation’s 2015 Pegasus Award for Poetry Criticism. His anthology London: A History in Verse was published in 2012, and is now available in paperback. His most recent publication is Thomas Hardy: Half a Londoner (2016).

Research Interests

Mark Ford has published widely on nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first century British, American, and French literature. He is particularly interested in the work of the New York School of poets, and has published editions of the poetry of John Ashbery and Frank O'Hara. He is also interested in French literature, and is the leading Anglophone expert on the work of Raymond Roussel. Subjects of recent essays by Mark Ford include Ted Hughes, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Nicholas Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Marilynne Robinson, Flannery O’Connor, Randall Jarrell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, James Fenimore Cooper, Georges Perec, Javier Marìas and Vladimir Nabokov. He is one of the literary executors of the poet Mick Imlah, and has edited a volume of Imlah's Selected Poems for Faber & Faber.

Mark Ford's publications and research interests nearly all relate to the Department's principal literary fields: the City and Editions: He has a great interest in New York-based poets from the advent of modernism to the present day, and in the interface between New York and Parisian culture throughout this period. His publications include Thomas Hardy: Half a Londoner, and editions of Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, James Schuyler, and Kenneth Koch.He is the author of the first full-length biography in English of the French poet, playwright, and novelist, Raymond Roussel.

Selected Publications

Six Children



Landlocked (Chatto & Windus, 1992, rpt. 1998)Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams (Faber & Faber, 2000, Cornell University Press, 2001)

Soft Sift (Faber & Faber, 2001, Harcourt 2003)

A Driftwood Altar: Essays and Reviews (Waywiser, 2005)

Six Children (Faber & Faber, 2011)

Mr and Mrs Stevens and Other Essays (Peter Lang, 2011)

This Dialogue of One: Essays on Poets from John Donne to Joan Murray (Eyewear Press, 2015)

Thomas Hardy: Half a Londoner (Harvard University Press, 2016). 




No Name by Wilkie Collins (Penguin Classics, 1994)

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (Penguin Classics, 1999)

‘Why I Am Not a Painter’ and other poems by Frank O’Hara (Carcanet, 2003)

Something We Have That They Don’t: British & American Poetic Relations Since 1925, co-edited with Steve Clark (University of Iowa Press, 2004)

The New York Poets: An Anthology (Carcanet, 2004)

The New York Poets II: An Anthology, co-edited with Trevor Winkfield, (Carcanet, 2006)

Frank O’Hara: Selected Poems (Knopf, 2008)

Allen Ginsberg: Poems Selected by Mark Ford (Faber & Faber Poet-on-Poets series, 2008)

John Ashbery: Collected Poems, Vol. 1, 1944-1990 (Library of America, 2008)

Mick Imlah: Selected Poems (Faber & Faber, 2010)

New Impressions of Africa by Raymond Roussel (Facing Pages Series, Princeton University Press, 2011)

London: A History in Verse (Harvard University Press, 2012)


Articles and Chapters in Books

‘Genius in its Pure State: The Literary Manuscripts of Raymond Roussel’, London Review of Books, May 22, 1997, reprinted in A Driftwood Altar.

‘Mont d’Espoir or Mount Despair: Early Bishop, Early Ashbery and the French’, PN Review 114, Vol. 23, no. 4, March-April 1997, reprinted in A Driftwood Altar.

‘Inventions of Solitude: Thoreau and Auster’, Journal of American Studies (1998) 32(3): 201-219, reprinted in A Driftwood Altar.

‘A Wide and Wingless Path to the Impossible: the Poetry of F.T. Prince’, PN Review 147, Vol. 29, no. 1, September-October 2002, reprinted in A Driftwood Altar.

‘James Schuyler and Englishness’, Poetry Review, Vol. 92, no. 3, Autumn 2002, PN Review 114, Vol. 23, no. 4, March-April 1997, reprinted in A Driftwood Altar.

‘Trust Yourself: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Bob Dylan’, in ‘Do You, Mr Jones?’ Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors, ed. Neil Corcoran, (Chatto & Windus, 2002), reprinted in Mr and Mrs Stevens and Other Essays.

‘Elizabeth Bishop at the Water’s Edge’, Essays in Criticism (2003) 53(3): 235-261, reprinted in A Driftwood Altar.

‘Love and Theft’, London Review of Books, December 2, 2004, reprinted in A Driftwood Altar.

‘Elizabeth Bishop’s Aviary’, London Review of Books, November 29, 2007, reprinted in Mr and Mrs Stevens and Other Essays.

‘Nicholas Moore, Wallace Stevens and the Fortune Press’, in Wallace Stevens Across the Atlantic, eds. Bart Eeckhout and Edward Ragg (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), reprinted in Mr and Mrs Stevens and Other Essays.

‘Michael Hofmann’s London’ in The Palm Beach Effect: Reflections on Michael Hofmann, eds. André Naffis-Sahely and Julian Stannard (CB Editions, 2013).

‘City of Pain: The Poetry of James Thomson’ in The Oxford Handbook of Victorian Poetry, ed. Matthew Bevis, (OUP, 2013).



For reviews by Mark Ford go to the archives of the London Review of Books http://www.lrb.co.uk/, the New York Review of Books http://www.nybooks.com/, and the Times Literary Supplement http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/archives.